A Pocket Guide to Software Engineering in Singapore
From the operating systems in our phones and computers to chat applications, food delivery platforms, and news websites, many of the tools we use daily depend on software engineering, software engineers are needed to design, build, and maintain such software tools.
January 6, 2023
Software engineers play an indispensable role in their development, from building the look of applications to its underlying business logic and infrastructure.
‘Software engineer’ is the more common professional title, though other terms like ‘coder’, ‘software developer’, and ‘programmer’ are used interchangeably as colloquial synonyms. There are some technical differences, however. Software engineering implies engineering larger, more scalable software systems. Coding, developing, and programming, on the other hand, only refer to the act of writing code.
In practice, most vocational software courses would use terms like ‘engineering’ and ‘development’, while most casual or enrichment software courses use terms like ‘coding’ and ‘programming’. We prefer ‘software engineering’ at Rocket Academy, as the technical definition of software engineering is what the industry looks for.
What is a career in software engineering like?
A career in software engineering is expected to be lucrative, challenging, and highly dynamic. Software engineering is one of the highest-paid vocations in the world because of the rare expertise required for the job.
The most handsome salaries can be found in Silicon Valley, where many of the world’s leading tech giants are headquartered. Software engineers are highly sought after for the large amounts of revenue they can generate. This is because software can be used to serve a large, international customer base with minimal local infrastructure.
As Asia’s leading tech hub, Singapore is also home to the regional headquarters of many tech companies. This has generated high salaries for local software engineers as well, since these companies are always looking to hire highly-skilled ones.
Software engineers typically work on a wide range of technologies that can be broadly classified into a few common categories, including:
There are also some less common classifications of software engineering work. These include platform-specific classifications like web engineering and mobile engineering, and language-specific classifications like Python engineering and Java engineering.
This is a common question we field from students, so we thought we would share our perspective on this. The simple answer is: yes and no. Starting a company requires a deep understanding of the market and problem you are addressing. No amount of software engineering will substitute that.
Singapore is poised to become Asia’s Silicon Valley, as a global financial center that houses the regional headquarters of tech giants like Alibaba, Google, Stripe and Grab. But its reach doesn’t stop there—tech is becoming increasingly present in our daily lives, touching all of us in one way or another: how food is delivered to us, how we shop, travel, work and communicate.
There are different methods to learn software engineering in Singapore. The four most common ones are: obtaining a degree in Computer Science; self-learning; bootcamps; and postgraduate programmes like diplomas and Master’s degrees.